A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found flaws in how food allergies -- abnormal responses to foods triggered by the body's immune system -- are diagnosed. New guidelines on dealing with food allergies are scheduled for publication this fall.
James Bird estimates that he watched thousands of bubbles pop while he was getting his doctorate at Harvard University. With the help of high-speed cameras, he and his colleagues discovered that bubbles birth baby bubbles when they burst, with implications ranging from hot tubs to global climate.
Multitasking is a trademark of modern office work, but is it really more productive? Research suggests the brain is actually more efficient when focusing on one task at a time. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the benefits and drawbacks of multitasking, and ways to limit distractions.
In The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind, New York Times health and medical science editor Barbara Strauch writes about ways the brain actually improves with age, and discusses what recent studies say about keeping the brain in tip-top shape.
Human-animal hybrids have been a part of mythology for millennia. But what if it were actually possible to create half-human creatures in the lab? Vincenzo Natali, director and screenwriter of the science fiction film Splice, talks about the ethics of splicing human and animal DNA.
Two research papers out this week tackle breast cancer prevention. A study in Nature Medicine describes a possible cancer vaccine; the other, in The Lancet, looks at the influence of lifestyle on genes. Immunologist Vincent Tuohy and oncologist Cliff Hudis explain the work.
For as common as lightning is, scientists have yet to completely understand what causes it. Physicist and lightning researcher Joseph Dwyer is learning more about lightning by causing lightning strikes and recording the X-rays and gamma rays that the lightning produces.
After a string of engineering failures, the most consistent mitigation strategy for the oil spill has been dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of potentially toxic dispersant into the Gulf. Ira Flatow and guests discuss whether scientists should be able to provide better solutions.
Is the slick of bad news about the oil spill bringing you down? Psychologist and "compassion fatigue" expert Charles Figley, of Tulane University’s School of Social Work, explains why negative news can be overwhelming and suggests strategies for taking a mental vacation.
Throughout the millenia, philosophers, theologians and scientists have pondered the simple question: Why are we here? Science News writer Ron Cowen discusses results from the Fermi Lab's particle collider which may help explain the preponderance of matter, not anti-matter, in the universe.
Thirty-one years ago, the Ixtoc I well blew out in the Gulf of Mexico after its blowout preventer failed. Cleanup crews responded with oil booms, skimmers and detergents. Ira Flatow and guests discuss why, three decades later, oil cleanup crews still rely on the same technology.
This year, the Navy brought more than ships and sailors to Fleet Week in New York City. Octavia, the Navy's "MDS" robot (for mobile, dexterous, social), is on display. Science Friday spoke with Greg Trafton, section head of intelligent systems at the Naval Research Laboratory, about the...
An 11-part television documentary series highlights the tactics plants and animals use to survive in nature. Mike Gunton, executive producer for the Life series describes how his team got the shots -- from cheetahs taking down an ostrich, to the mating run of humpback whales.
Bernd Heinrich started collecting birds and eggs when he was a child. The Nesting Season is a collection of his observations of nests, eggs and the birds that make them, illustrated with his watercolors and photographs. Heinrich describes his life-long interest in nature.
Wondering what to do with that old PC case? You could turn it into a planter, and grow strawberries in winter. "Cheap vegetable gardener" Shawn Verrall describes how he gardens in his limited backyard space, in a less-than-ideal climate, without spending a lot of money.